Learn how to make a soothing herbal tea for sore throats. This homemade herbal soothing sore throat tea is the perfect thing to sip on those days when you’re struggling with a sore throat, whether as a symptom from a cold/flu or from some sort of throat-scratching activity (like singing or screaming at a concert, etc.). This is a soothing and delicious tea recipe that is sweet and contains the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and orange.
Recently, I’ve been learning about holistic living and natural remedies with herbs in my online Intermediate Herbal Course from Herbal Academy.
I’ve also been using this year to become better at the concept of preparedness. I’ve been learning to prepare for all situations in life, including things like: not waiting until we only have one roll of toilet paper left before buying more; keeping our pantry and freezer well-stocked; and making sure I have prepared herbal tea blends ready to use when we get sick.
Why I’m Preparing a Huge Jar of this Soothing Sore Throat Tea…
I have jars and jars of different herbs in my kitchen. I love collecting and using herbs for cooking, natural remedies, and even making homemade beauty products (like my Queen of Hungary facial toner).
So I am pretty prepared with my multiple herbs lined up on my shelves. However, my weakness is being ready for sicknesses ahead of time with already-made-herbal tea blends.
From experiences in the past, I know that when I am ill, I do not have the energy or the brain power to remember what herbs to mix together for the best natural remedy for that particular ailment. So this year, I’m putting together lots of different herbal tea blends so all I have to do is mix the herbs with hot water and rest with some tasty tea.
I’m putting together a few different blends to be ready for quick use. Check out my Immune-Boosting Herbal Tea recipe for a delicious tea to sip on those first days you get ill and you’re feeling cruddy and achy. I’m also going to make a fever-reducing tea recipe soon. Finally, I’ve got this soothing sore throat tea blend ready to use for those days when my throat needs comfort.
This seems like the right time to add the customary words of caution: I am not a doctor, please consult with some medical folks if you are seriously ill, please look up the herbal plants before using and start with small amounts to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction. Please do your own research, please research these herbs before using if pregnant. Etc.
Designing This Soothing Sore Throat Tea Formula…
From my Intermediate Herbal Academy Course so far, I have already learned a TON about making proper herbal formulations. I also purchased a book called The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne. Both the course and this book have helped me create this soothing sore throat herbal tea formula.
The basics for creating herbal formulas revolve around two things: herbal formula components and herbal energetics information. The herbal formula components include: key herbs, supporting herbs, balancing herbs, and catalysts (The Modern Herbal Dispenstory, pg. 139-141).
The herbal formula components usually follow a pattern like:
- 1-2 key herbs (the herbs with the primary action you want your formula to have) in this ratio: 8-16 parts per formula
- 2-4 supporting herbs (the herbs that enhance the action of the key herb) in this ratio: 4-8 parts per formula
- 0-3 balancing herbs (the herbs that harmonize the action of the whole formula) in this ratio: 2-4 parts per formula
- 0-2 catalyst herbs (the herbs that make the formula activated and/or work quickly) in this ratio: 1-2 parts per formula
The herbal energetics information revolves around a common belief amongst herbalists and other natural medicine practitioners and non-western medicine approaches that see plants and people in terms of four qualities with the goal of supporting health by nurturing energetic balance between: hot and cold, and dry and damp (learn more about herbal energetics from the Herbal Academy courses and also from herbalist Rosalee de le Foret).
To use herbal energetics information, you would need to learn the energetics of particular herbs and think about how to use them best for each ailment and issue. Sometimes, you want a balancing formula between hot and cold herbs and/or dry and damp herbs. Or, you might emphasize one of those over the other, depending again on the ailment/issue.
Soothing Sore Throat Herbal Tea: The Ingredients
Using all that nerdy herbal formula stuff in the section above, I created this herbal tea blend for soothing and comforting sore throats. The main components are cooling and moistening, with some balance from the smaller ratio ingredients that are warm and dry.
While it is a very sweet tea (due to the licorice root and marshmallow), the cinnamon, orange peel, and ginger really helped balanced that sweetness quite nicely and I thought it was really delicious to drink.
Looking for a place to purchase dried herbs? I try to support my local herb shop whenever possible for purchasing my herbs, but for the ones she doesn’t carry, I order from Starwest Botanicals. They have a huge selection of culinary and medicinal herbs, so check them out!
Dried Licorice Root
Description: Licorice is very sweet tasting and is a demulcent, meaning it adds a soothing film to mucous membranes. It contains polysaccharides that soothe and restore, making it also ideal for issues like sore throats.
Herbal Actions: Adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, demulcent, expectorant
Notes: If you’re interested in using a lot of licorice root (it’s also good for soothing the intestinal tract if you have digestive issues and is also a useful adaptogen), you can grow your own. Learn how to grow licorice root in this article.
Dried Marshmallow Root
Description: The polysaccharide-rich root of marshmallow provides mucilage and demulcency that can soothe and protect both the digestive tract and the respiratory system. This is a wonderful herb to use for dry coughs and for moistening your throat.
Energetics: Cooling and Moistening
Herbal Actions: Anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, expectorant
Notes: The marshmallow plant was the origins of the now-unhealthy marshmallow treat. Learn how to make old-fashioned marshmallow candies with marshmallow root here. You can also grow your own marshmallow plants. They have beautiful flowers and the butterflies love them. Perfect for a cottage flower garden! Learn how to grow marshmallow in my article here.
Dried Echinacea (Aerial Parts)
Description: Echinacea is a popular immune-boosting herb. It is best used at the onset of illnesses, and is especially helpful for upper respiratory infections with swollen glands. It can help with the swollen glands that can produce the sore throat issues, which is why it is included in this herbal tea blend.
Herbal Actions: Antimicrobial, immunomodulant, immune stimulant, and lymphatic
Notes: Echinacea is an at-risk plant in the wild, so learn how to grow your own echinacea to have a safe and plentiful supply (bonus: it’s a beautiful flower for your garden!).
Cinnamon Bark (Chips or Pieces)
Description: Cinnamon is soothing and warming and is helpful for stimulating the digestive and circulatory system. It is a flavoring agent that helps balance the sweetness of both licorice root and marshmallow root in this tea (but also helpful for soothing the throat due to being a demulcent).
Energetics: Warming and Drying
Herbal Actions: Demulcent, antioxidant, antimicrobial
Notes: Learn more about the medicinal and culinary uses of cinnamon in this article of mine and you can also learn how to grow your own cinnamon here.
Dried Ginger Root (Rhizome)
Description: Ginger can be used for so many ailments. It is used here due to its’ antimicrobial activity and ability to thin mucus.
Energetics: Warming and drying
Herbal Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant
Notes: Make sure you use dried ginger for this recipe. You could also probably just leave the dried ginger out and add a few slices of fresh ginger at the time of making the herbal tea if you want. Learn more about the medicinal properties of ginger in this post.
Dried Orange Peel
Description: Orange peel can be helpful for moving stagnant phlegm from both the digestive and respiratory tracts, making it a wonderful addition to a sore throat herbal tea.
Energetics: Warming and drying
Herbal Actions: Antimicrobial, bitter, nutritive
Soothing Sore Throat Herbal Tea Recipe
- 2 parts dried licorice root
- 1 part dried marshmallow root
- 1 part dried echinacea aerial parts
- 1/2 part cinnamon chips (or cinnamon bark cut into small pieces)
- 1/4 part dried ginger root
- 1/4 part dried orange peel
- Ratio: use 4 tbsp. of the herb blend per quart of water.
- Bring water almost to a boil.
- Pour nearly-boiling water over herbs.
- Cover and let it steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain and drink throughout the day.
- Optional: add spoonful of local raw honey or elderberry syrup to your tea for an extra boost.
**Consider making a large batch of this sore throat herbal tea blend to use throughout the year. Store it in a glass jar in a cool and dark location, where it will stay good to use for at least 6 months.
**Missing one of these ingredients? You can order tons of herbs and spices from Starwest Botanicals.
I feel so much more prepared for cold and flu season with this sore throat tea ready to use. I am super happy that it is tasty, too!
More Natural Remedy Tips and Recipes:
- Immune-Boosting Herbal Tea Recipe
- How to Make Goldenrod Honey
- Dandelion Root Herbal Coffee Recipe
- Digestive Bitters Recipe
- Sleepytime Brandied Berries and Cherries
- Nourishing Nursing Mother Tea
- How to Make Elderberry Syrup
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